Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pictures from the past week

March 24--Ruby is 22 months old, and puts her baby doll in the swing
March 28--Ruby's new baby brother is home from the hospital and he gets to try out the swing!

March 24--Kisses for baby doll...soon there will be kisses for baby brother!
March 28--Kisses for Max!

Silly Ruby, climbing into the book box!

March 25--Daddy dons the "bunny suit" over his soccer clothes...I called him away from a game.  Apparently our children have a penchant for being born on game days.

Brand new baby!

Newest member of the Cook family--Max-Pascal James Cook

There's a new (little) man in my life!
So handsome!

Proud papa with his son!
Hi cutie!

Ruby meets baby brother

Right now, she calls him baby

Words of Affirmation for the new mommy from  Allen
Meeting Uncle Toby
Meeting Aunt Sarah Cook and Grandma Karla
Meeting Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Haas
One very crowded Toyota Echo!
Naptime...check out the resemblance!!!
A staged napping shot (staged in that we put Max there for the picture; they are both really napping)
Daddy's an equal opportunity napper

It's more than a slice, it's a whole pie!

Well, I've fallen off the Slice bandwagon, but here's a huge post to get you all up to date on the huge life event of the month (or even year!): my son was born on Sunday March 25th!!!
Here is the story...

Max-Pascal’s Birth Story
It seems like Max and Ruby decided, in true sibling form, to have a contest over whose birth could be more full of surprises and drama.  Ruby, as you may remember, threatened to come 8 weeks early: I discovered at my 32 week checkup that I was already 3 cm dilated, which landed me in OHSU on bed rest for 13 days and then on modified bed rest from home for the rest of the pregnancy.  I was assured daily and then weekly that “she’s probably going to come any day now.”  I went into labor with her the day before her due date and she was born at 2:11 AM on her due date, May 24.  
Given all of that, my midwife took no chances with this pregnancy, and starting at 20 weeks I was monitored very closely with ultrasounds and cervical checks to make sure that there was no “funny business.”  Thankfully, there was none.  Everything was the way it was supposed to be, until we hit the 36 week mark or so.  
I went in for my visit and asked, casually, if the baby was head down yet.  The midwife (I think it was Bonny and not my usual midwife Alyssa) probed and said, “You know, I’m not sure. I think he might be sideways still.”  They ordered an ultrasound and found that he was indeed transverse breech (sideways).  That wouldn’t be a huge deal, because babies can still flip into the proper head down position at that point...but they also checked my cervix and found that once again it had dilated sneakily to about 3 cm.  When that happened, I’m not sure!  Those two factors combined to make trouble: a transverse baby cannot be delivered vaginally.  It just won’t work.  What is likeliest to happen if the water breaks is that the cord will prolapse, and my basic understanding of that is that the cord gets down into the cervix and gets in the way and makes a whole lot of trouble for baby.  There was much discussion of what should be done next, but it boiled down to playing a waiting game until 37 weeks, when the baby would no longer be considered officially premature.  Also, I was informed that the due date I had been going by for the whole pregnancy--April 5th--was not correct based on the ultrasound measurements.  It was correct based on my last period, but not by the size of the baby taken from measurements.  From those measurements, the new due date was April 9th.  Okay! Then, at 37 weeks, the doctors would perform a version, which is a procedure that attempts to move the baby’s position from the outside.  If that worked and the baby flipped, fine.  If it didn’t, there would have to be a c-section scheduled (or emergency if the baby went into distress during the version).  
And did I mention that during the week where I’m supposed to be waiting it out and taking it easy we were moving to a new house?!?!?!?!?!
I took the week off of work so that I could stay pretty close in case I needed to get to the hospital, and it is just as well that I did, because it was an incredibly intense week with the move.  We moved into the new house officially on March 15th.  My baby shower was that Sunday, March 18th, and we played a guessing game of when the baby would be born.  Some people had their proverbial money on March 20th, the day I was scheduled to have the version performed. 
The next day was Monday, March 19th (and my dad’s 54th birthday) and I had an appointment scheduled with Alyssa for one last ultrasound to see if Max had obediently flipped himself during the week and saved us all a lot of trouble.  He hadn’t.  I had also further dilated another centimeter or so and Alyssa decided to see if they could do the version that afternoon instead of waiting an extra day.  She handed me over to Dr. Miller-Davis, one of the OBs in the practice.  Thankfully Allen was able to leave work early and be there for the version, which was a really unpleasant and painful experience.  It’s pretty old-fashioned: Dr. Miller-Davis greased up my belly with mineral oil and applied a lot of pressure as she tried to lift and move the baby counter-clockwise so his head would be down.  I can’t really describe the feeling; one thought that came into my mind during the procedure was that it felt a bit like trying to put on a way too small article of clothing and how much it squeezes you as you pull it on, but that doesn’t really do it justice.  It also didn’t help that she had sharp or ragged nails that were scratching me as she pushed.  I think she only probably tried for about 8-10 minutes but it felt like forever!  It was not successful, and we left with a scheduled c-section date for Tuesday, April 3 (39 weeks).  “Personally, I don’t think you’re going to make it that long,” Dr. Miller-Davis said to me as she left...but I’d heard that kind of thing before when I was pregnant with Ruby and so I didn’t really put much stock in it.  
I decided to go into work that week, since it was the last week before spring break and I needed all the income I could get before having the baby.  Work was okay, although on Tuesday I was horribly sore from the version and didn’t think I could make it through the whole day.  I had heard, however, that there was going to be a gift presented to me after school at the faculty meeting, so I decided to stick it out until then.  It was a beautiful little wooden chair that had been decorated with favorite storybook characters illustrated by each of the teachers and aides (a very Arbor idea, coordinated by Laurel Glasmire).  The next day turned out to be a 2 hour late start due to snow flurries, and I was thankful for that.  It had been a bad night’s sleep because I had woken up at midnight with contractions and the realization that I hadn’t felt the baby move in a while.  That was cause to go into the hospital and get monitored to make sure everything was okay.  It turned out to be fine, but we didn’t get back from the hospital until 3:30 AM and I was exhausted.  The extra sleep time helped me get through the shortened day, though.   Thursday turned out to be a complete snow day, which was nice, although it meant all my stuff was at school on what was supposed to be my last day before spring break and maternity leave.  Oh well, I would just get it later, I reasoned.  
Friday night the 23rd was spa night at Adina’s house, organized and run by Candace. A few other ladies from life group (Joanna B. and Morgan) joined us and we pampered ourselves.  My foot soaker thing felt SO good, and Morgan painted my toenails for me, since I couldn’t really reach them myself!  Candace waxed my eyebrows, which was a real treat since I love the way they look after waxing but rarely am willing to spend the money on it.  It was so relaxing and nice to spend time with other ladies at another house.  I had felt very cooped up and crazy with unpacking and watching Ruby and being stuck car-less at our new house.
Saturday the 24th I spent a lot of time getting our room in order.  The nesting instinct ran strong that day, and in retrospect I think God’s hand was obviously in it, getting me ready!  I washed and dried the new baby clothes, set up the baby swing, got out the new car seat, and generally prepared for new baby Max.  That night after Allen got home from work I asked him to watch an online video presentation the doctor had emailed me about c-sections.  It was also Ruby’s 22 month mark, and I thought once or twice during the day how funny it would be if Max was born that day; then they’d be exactly 22 months apart.
I woke up on Sunday morning feeling pretty normal.  Allen had a soccer game at 9:45 up in Northwest Portland that he wanted to go to.  About five minutes before he left, I started to feel contractions, but I didn’t really make mention of it to him.  Why not?  Well, I had had plenty of “false alarms” and I had no real reason to think these were different.  I also remembered back to the Sunday that I went into labor with Ruby.  I had begged Allen to miss a soccer game that day because I didn’t want him to be away while I labored (even though I was not in hard labor at the time of his game).  He had been a bit grumpy about it, so I didn’t want to repeat that scenario this time.  He went off to his game and I kept busy in the kitchen trying to get Ruby fed and the dishes washed, all while having increasingly stronger contractions.  When I went to the bathroom I noticed some bloody show and I knew that these contractions meant business; this was likely to be the real thing, and I shouldn’t mess around.  Allen had taken Toby’s car to his soccer game so that I could take Ruby to church, but I didn’t want to drive myself to the hospital.  I put Toby in charge of Ruby and asked Whitney to drop me off at the hospital.  Thankfully my hospital bag (already packed!) was in our car so I was able to grab that.  I called the hospital to let them know I was coming in and called Allen to let him know to meet me there.  He only got about 10 minutes of playing time in, but he left early because he knew that the baby really was on his way.  
At the hospital they got me hooked up to an IV and gave me some trib to stop labor.  They were hoping to stop labor so I could make it until my scheduled c-section date, but it didn’t work.  The contractions subsided for a little while, but then they came back, along with more bleeding.  So, at close to noon (Allen had just gotten there at this point), Dr. Susanka, the doctor on call, decided that it was time to perform a c-section and bring Max into the world!  
Allen was given his “bunny suit” and he got all cleaned up while they prepped me for the c-section.  I was nervous about the anesthesia and afraid that it wouldn’t work and I would feel everything they were doing.  However, that fear was baseless: the spinal block worked like a charm and my body from the chest down felt warm and heavy.  I could feel them touching and pushing and pulling, but couldn’t feel any incisions or stitches.  Allen was seated next to me and he watched a lot of the surgery, which made him feel pretty queasy at points.  He remarked to the doctors, “You all are strong women.  Wow.  That”  The surgery went quickly.  Soon enough I was hearing Max cry for the first time.  It was so different than the natural childbirth process I had experienced with Ruby; it was very surreal, not feeling anything and then seeing baby all at once.  Max was born at 1:10 PM and weighed 6 lbs, 3 oz and was 19 inches long.  He was a little peanut of a thing, with lots of dark hair and dark eyes and rather darkly complected skin; you’d never look at him and think that he was a sibling of blond-blue eyed, fair skinned Ruby! One nurse later asked if my husband was hispanic (she hadn’t seen Allen yet, obviously).  His nose was squished to the side because of the way he had been lying transverse in utero, but it is already starting to straighten out.  
We spent the rest of Sunday through Wednesday morning in the hospital.  Max started in with cluster feeding the first night, or so it felt.  They have a rule in the hospital not to fall asleep while the baby is in bed with you, which is hard to follow because Max always wanted to be snuggled.  He likes co-bedding, apparently!  He would cry when I put him in his crib and just wanted to nurse.  As of writing this (Thursday afternoon) my milk still hasn’t come in, which is making me anxious since last time I had trouble, too. I’m doing all the herbal supplements already (blessed thistle, fenugreek, mother’s milk tea) and I’m nursing and pumping but still only making colostrum and not much at that.  Still, when we left the hospital they were not concerned by the amount of weight Max had lost (it was 7% of his body weight, and they don’t worry until it is over 10%).  I think that if the milk doesn’t come in overnight then we’ll check back into the lactation department tomorrow to see if we need to supplement for his weight’s sake.  
As I type this, Max is snoozing on my chest and Allen and Ruby are curled up on our bed, asleep. It is a napping house for sure. Don’t worry, Max and I got our snuggly afternoon nap in, too.  While it is certainly a big adjustment already to have two kids instead of just one, I am so happy with this addition to the family.  Max is a beautiful, sweet boy, and quite a fighter.  He obviously wants to do things his own way!  I thank God for our sweet son, Max-Pascal James Cook.  
And by way of post script, I’ll explain his name.  Way back  before we were married (a whole three years ago now!), we went on a road trip to St. Louis so Allen could meet my parents before we got married.  One of the topics of conversation on the way was names for our future children.  We came up with a boy’s name fairly quickly: Benjamin Wade Cook. We like Benjamin and its nicknames Ben and Benji, and Wade is Allen’s dad’s name (plus I knew an adorable little boy named Wade).  We came up with Ruby Rose Cook as a girl’s name [Ruby being a gem that we liked as a name and Rose being Allen’s mom’s middle name].  Well, after Ruby was born, I joked at one point that if she had a little brother, we were almost obligated to name him Max after the Rosemary Wells book characters, Max and Ruby the bunnies.  Allen said he liked the name Max, and I did, too, so I started to think of it past the joke.  When we found out that this baby was in fact a boy, it cemented the Max part, but what would Max be short for?  We got a lot of feedback that Max should be short for something.  Allen’s grandma pointed out that Maximilian was a family name on her side, and my mom seemed to favor Maxwell.  Allen and I thought about a lot of other things that Max could be short for (Maxson? Maxelo?) but nothing really grabbed us besides just plain Max.  Later, I was thinking about his due date and how close it was to Easter this year.  “If Max is born on Easter, I think his middle name should be Pascal,” I told Allen.  Pascal means Easter and it is also the surname of one of the great Christian philosophers, Blaise Pascal.  We really liked the sound of Max Pascal, but didn’t want to sacrifice the middle name of James, because it would be a tribute to both Allen and my dad (Allen’s middle name is James, and James is my dad’s first name).  So, we ultimately decided that we could solve our problems by giving Max a hyphenated first name: Max-Pascal.  Now Max would be short for something AND we could keep Pascal AND James.  We still plan to call him Max primarily.  So, there you have the story behind his name.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Snow day?

Sorry that I haven't been slicing faithfully for a few days now...between internet being down and baby drama, it hasn't been happening.  And it's late, so I don't want to have a very long post, although there is much to say.
The title refers to the fact that it is snowing right now.  Yes, March 21st, Oregon, snow.  These things can sometimes go together, it seems.  It snowed all day but the temperature was just high enough for it not to stick.  But when evening came, it started sticking. The roads are pretty bad right now.  Of course, by "pretty bad" I am not referring to what you East Coasters or Minnesotans or what have you would call pretty bad. I'm using the standards of those who rarely get snow and then don't know what to do when it happens.  I am not a good snow driver, in that I get nervous and go really slowly. But on the plus side of having lived here for almost 6 years now, I'm a good rain driver, because rain is a constant.  Anyway, if it keeps up like this, we might be looking at a snow day tomorrow.  I wouldn't say no to that, even though tomorrow is my last day of work before maternity leave.   Next week is spring break, you see, and after that, it's baby time! More on that tomorrow...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Moving is like...

Moving is like playing a game of Memory; you KNOW you've seen _______, you saw it just a little while ago, but WHERE?!
Moving is like playing Go Fish, only the stakes are higher.
"Have you seen the bread?"  asks a hungry housemate trying to fix himself lunch.
I don't have the heart to say "Go Fish."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

7 reasons why this post is so short

Well, I missed a slice yesterday, but it was only because we had to pack up the internet and computer to move and I wasn't able to get online.  And this post will likely be short because:
1. I'm really tired
2. It's late
3. Our bed is still covered in stuff, not to mention a bed sheet that's been in the rain and mud during the move
4. I don't know where the other bed sheet is
5. The internet is extremely capricious and is going on and off
6. My brain is in a jumble
7. Bleahhhhhhh
So there you have it.  Goodnight, all.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A few thoughts on packing up

I write this as I sit in one of Ruby's little tiny chairs, which is far too short for the computer desk...but almost all of our other chairs are in the new house.  A lot is at the new house now; tomorrow the rest of it goes, including the beds, appliances, and remaining furniture.  We're down to the dribs and drabs of packing up now, all the little stuff that nonetheless must find a home:
*thumbtacks for the bulletin board
*cleaning supplies
*a three-hole punch
just to name a few.  Ruby's room is almost all cleaned out, as are most of her toys.  Tomorrow could be a trying day for her as she will not have much to play with.  We don't actually get to sleep in the new house until Thursday, so that means that tomorrow night we're going to be sleeping here minus the beds to sleep in.  We do have an air mattress, but I put in a call to a friend to see if Ruby and I can sleep in her guest bedroom instead, since the thought of sleeping on the ground sounds like torture.  Just getting comfortable in a bed is hard enough at this stage of pregnancy, let alone on the ground.  But the landlords were pretty particular that we not sleep in the house until the date that our lease specifies occupancy, which is the 15th, so we must abide by their rules.
Today turned out to be a snow day for my school, so I'm hoping that that bought me an extra 8 hours of not having to use up my sick/personal time for this week.  It made for some very crazy weather to move in, though. It alternated between snowing, raining, slushing, and sunshine, all with plenty of wind.  What an odd day!  Also, we noted with dismay when we got to the new house today that there were some puddles in the basement.  The landlord had warned us that it was possible that the basement could admit water, but they said it hadn't happened in years.  I guess this amount of rain and snow was a bit much.  Thankfully, Allen's grandpa has a wet/dry vac that we are borrowing to suck up the water.  Hopefully it won't be a trend.  They certainly made it sound like it was a rarity, but then again, the landlord of this house didn't mention several problems that we've had here (continually leaky pipes, even after he's come and fixed them, bad drainage, etc.)  Oh well.  At least we have shelter and pretty good shelter at that.
It's not 9 pm yet, but I'm exhausted.  Tomorrow will be busy, too.  And Allen's got a paper to write tonight, so I had better vacate the computer for him.  Farewell, readers!

Monday, March 12, 2012

What a day!

I feel pretty tired, although some pizza and carrots did make for a nice and easy dinner.  Today was crazy.  Long story short: found out that Max is facing sideways and that I'm dilated already, so if my water breaks then there is the possibility of a prolapsed umbilical cord, which is all kinds of bad.  So, I'm taking the week off of work and staying close to Oregon City where the hospital is just in case I need to get there quickly.  On the plus side, I did get to see ultrasound of Max, and he's looking like a real baby (with hair! I wonder what color) and not just a strange ultrasound alien thing.  Ruby's leg is also a lot better, and we have lots of people praying for us and offering to help.  It will be a nutty week for sure, but I know that we'll get through it.  More later...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Belated Valentine's Day Post

I don't think I ever really did a blog-with-photos from Valentine's day, so here goes (in lieu of anything special to write about today).
Okay, for Valentine's day this year, it was Andy and Alishia's first Valentine's day together as a couple (and as marrieds), so they were going to do something special.  The good thing about Andy and Allen being who they are is that they have this built-in need as brothers to compete.  You know the song, "Anything you can do, I can do better?"  That should be their theme song, although not in a bad way. More in a, "How can be more creative and crafty than my brother?" kind of way.  Anyway, one day they were discussing their plans for their respective wives and somehow they got the idea that they should work together on something for both of us to surprise us.  I was very curious when Allen told me, a few weeks before the big day, that he and Andy had an amazing secret plan for Alishia and me.  He was very tight-lipped on the details (which is hard for him, since once he has planned a cool thing he's going to do for me he often wants to share it right away) and Andy was too.  I was excited.
Finally, Valentine's day arrived, on a Tuesday, which is a day that Allen has off and I work.  He told me to expect a present to arrive via UPS at school.  Unfortunately, the UPS truck always comes at the end of the day, so I could not leave until it came, and we were on a tight schedule for the rest of the day.  Thankfully, just as we were about to give up on it getting there in time, the truck rolled up with my present: a box of chocolate dipped strawberries from Shari's Berries (Allen had heard an ad for it on the radio).  Yum!
Then we headed back to the house to change and drop off Ruby with good old uncle Toby, and we headed into the Pearl district of Portland (a very fancy and uptown area of the city) to dine at Meriwether's.  Allen had looked around ahead of time and made reservations. When he had called to inquire, the woman he spoke to said that they were serving from their usual menu; when we arrived and were seated, however, we discovered that the restaurant was only making a special prix fixe Valentine's day menu, and it was a lot pricier than we thought.  But we were already seated and had started eating some of the bread, so we decided to stick it out and splurge, sacrificing the rest of our date night budget for the month.  The food was pretty delicious and very fancy, I must admit.


A nice fellow customer took our picture for us
Dinner was a leisurely event (being stretched out over four courses will do that).  When we got home, we joined Andy and Alishia for some leftovers of the homemade chocolate fondue Andy had made for Alishia as her Valentine's day treat.  Then, since he and Andy needed to use our house as the staging area for their surprise, I stayed over there and hung out with Alishia for half an hour or so while the boys got ready.  Finally they called us and told us to come over: the surprise was ready!  We came into the living room to discover that a puppet stage had been set up with boxes and blankets in place.  We were treated to a puppet show that they wrote and created all the puppets and props for. The puppet show was about 9 minutes long, so although I did record it on video, it would take about 3 hours to upload it.  So, you'll just have to be tantalized by the pictures...

Gods among men

You know you wanna see what the play was about now, don't you?  Here's the short version: once upon a time in Ancient Greece (or maybe Rome) there were two brother gods.  One was very strong and one was very clever.  They were trying to win the hearts of two goddesses.  They had to work together to overcome many obstacles (a la Hercules and his 12 labors), but eventually they won the hearts of the women they loved.  The end.
I thought it was so creative and I loved how they had made everything themselves at nearly no cost.  It was very fun to watch and I was very proud of my Adonis-like hubster.  Now Alishia and I are going to have to try to outdo their amazing performance somehow...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A slice of the day

Today was a pretty productive Saturday.  Allen took the car to work because they had an all-worker meeting at 6:30 AM.  At least they did provide donuts for breakfast!  Ruby and I got up around 7:20 and made breakfast (yummy and hearty oatmeal pancakes, recipe to be found here). Then it was on to the usual chores: washing dishes after breakfast (and leftover dishes from the night before), giving Ruby her bath, taking my shower after the bathtub drained, and then doing several loads of laundry while we still have the washer and dryer hooked up.  While that was going on, I worked on packing up our walk-in closet and made good progress on it, stopping every so often to read to Ruby or see what she was up to if she was playing in her room.  After an early lunch, I put Ruby in her pack 'n' play for a nap and I lay down, too!  Ruby didn't really fall asleep soundly for a while, though.  In the afternoon, after she got up, we did more packing and then went for a walk to the library to return some books.  It was a long walk, although nice weather made it enjoyable. But I came back completely exhausted from it.  Too tired for a proper date night, and Allen is tired, too.  Well, it's time to get Ruby ready for bed and do the evening routine with her.  One adorable thing she did today: Allen told her to come and give me a kiss, and she came over, pulled me down to her level by my collar, and gave me a kiss.  Pretty cute. Allen also taught her to do chest bumps with him.  Oh my.  I tried to capture it on video but my camera's battery is dead and the charger is already packed.  Some other time, I guess...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Somebunny loves you, Ruby

I had a Groupon for a portrait session and prints from Yuen Lui, a local photography studio that promised cute pictures with a real live bunny.  I took Ruby to do that this afternoon.  She was a bit wary of the bunny, as it turned out.  I thought she was going to be all about it, since she loves cats; bunnies and cats are both fluffy and pretty low-key, so I figured it was a good match.  However, Ruby looks somewhat skeptical or scared of the bunny in a lot of the pictures.  Still, there are some good ones. I can't post them (since I don't own them) but maybe I can post a link to them once they get put online.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Squeaking a post in...

Uh oh, I'm only a few minutes away from the midnight (Eastern Standard Time) deadline for the day!  I don't have a lot to say.  I feel drained, as if someone extracted all of my will and energy via a big syringe and then injected it into someone or something else (my toddler, perhaps).  There is just too much to do right now!  I'm glad we signed a year long lease because the thought of moving again in anything under 12 months is a horrid thought.  I really don't like packing up.  Too much irreducible crap, as my parents would say.  Even Allen is stressed, and it takes a lot to stress him out.
On another note, 36 weeks preggy today!  4 weeks to go, if that.  I've had a lot of Braxton-Hicks type tightness today, although nothing really regular or timeable.  Just hoping that Max hangs in there another two weeks or so.  That will get us into the new house, past my baby shower, and through the last week of school before spring break.  We shall see...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Obviously I'm trying to add a few inches to my height or hours to my life (cf. Luke 12: 24-25) because I'm worrying.  I'm worrying about how Ruby's abscess doesn't look like it is healing properly.
I'm worrying about how the water in our bathtub just won't drain.  And if it won't drain, how can I continue to give Ruby the twice daily baths she's supposed to get in order for the abscess to heal?
I'm worrying about what job I'm going to do next year.  The budget at our school isn't looking promising to be able to afford to hire back a part-timer like me, and the dream job I applied for turned me down without so much as an interview.
And my worrying about any of these things is not going to help them resolve themselves.  Not one bit.  It's just agitating me.  I know that all of these things will be okay and God is master over all of them; they are not problems for Him.  Yet I fret.  I think it is the lack of control that bothers me the most.
I cannot control Ruby's body healing itself.
I cannot control the bathtub drainage situation (yes, we've tried a plunger and drain's something to do with the way the pipes are set up in this house).
I can't control the school's budget or another school's HR department.
But I can choose to entrust it to God and see His hand in it all, or at least see the good sides.
Thank you, God, that You made bodies with the incredible ability to heal and regenerate; they are amazing creations!
Thank you, God, that we are moving into a new house soon which hopefully won't have bad pipes.  And even if it does, thank you that we have RUNNING WATER in abundance...people die every day for lack of that and would gladly use our tub water to drink from.  It would probably be healthier than what they have.
Thank you, God, that I have a job today and that You've always provided for us and always will.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

So not a nurse!

Are you a nurse, doctor, or anyone who works in healthcare (and especially if you work with infants/toddlers or those who have the mental capacity of infants/toddlers)?  If so, my hat is off to you.  I could not do your job.  I am putting off Ruby's bath, where I will have to remove some tape gauze from the incision in her leg.  I hate inflicting pain, even when it is only a side effect to something that is going to be for her benefit.  Maybe it would be better if she were older and I could explain, "Okay, this is going to hurt for a few seconds, but then it will be over and it will help your leg heal."  I mean, I CAN say that now, but I don't think she's going to get it.  What she's going to get is, "OWWWWW! PAIN!!!! BAD!!!!!"  She didn't like having her bandages removed this morning, either.  I think of nurses and doctors who work in the NICU with teeny tiny babies, who somehow can find veins in those little arms and give shots and can't reason with their patients about how important the procedures are. They just get an earful of screams and cries.  I just am not cut out for that line of work, but I'm oh so glad that so many wonderful women and men are.  It's a gift, that's for sure.
I've loved reading all the comments on my blog so far this month.  It is so nice to hear from people, both those I know in "real life" and those I've only met on the internet thanks to this challenge.  I hope that it will build up some good writing habits in the coming months after this one.  Thank you if you have been reading and commenting!
It's a full moon coming on March 8 ( my 36 week mark).  Full moons are supposed to bring babies.  The full moon in April is on April 6, one day after my due date.  Sounds promising!  Ruby was born a few days before a full moon.  The other harbinger, oddly enough, is a change in barometric pressure.  Something about it really seems to bring on labor for some reason.  We shall see...

Monday, March 5, 2012


What a day.  Ruby had a boil on her leg (has had it there for about a week) so I decided to take her in to the doctor to have it looked at and removed.  She's had one before and they lanced it and that was that.
Her regular pediatrician was not in the office that day so we saw another one in the practice, who looked at it and said, "Yeah, I'm not going to lance that here.  It would be too painful without any anesthesia."  So she called up pediatric outpatient surgery at Emanuel (hospital up in North Portland) and explained it to them, and they said they could take care of it.  We spent pretty much the rest of the day in waiting rooms.  Some had toys, others didn't.  And because she was going to have to undergo sedation, Ruby couldn't eat or drink anything...and she missed nap time by a lot.  Still, considering that she was overtired, hungry, and thirsty, Ruby was a real trooper.  The nurses said she didn't cry at all when I left her in the sedation room.  That was tough, by the way; having to just leave her in there and trust that it was all going to be fine.  It was, of course, all fine.  They sedated her, lanced and drained the boil, and that was that.  Well, that was that on their end.  We have a week of stuff to do, like soaking her leg in the tub twice a day and using topical ointment three times a day and giving antibiotics twice a day.  But I'm thankful that we live in a country where medicine is available to most, and I'm thankful that Ruby has excellent state-provided health insurance that covers everything (at least, it has so far...knock wood).  I'm tired, but all's well that ends well.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gorgeous Day!

It's a beautiful day here in Portland and its surrounding towns.  It is the kind of day that you don't usually see until May (or, who are we kidding, June): warm enough to go out in just a sweater, sunny, and not raining.  On days like this, you have to take advantage of it.  So, Ruby and I went for a walk to the playground not far from our house.  It was a pleasant walk and we had the playground to ourselves for a little while.  Then another family came: a dad, a boy who looked to be about 5 or 6, and a girl who turned out to be 3 (and named Shelby).  Ruby was fascinated by them and kept hanging around, wanting to do whatever they were doing.  Fortunately, they were very friendly and accommodating, particularly Shelby who included Ruby as they climbed up the play structure and went down the slide.
Allen is using the nice day to be outside, too; he's visiting his friend in McMinnville and "scrapping."  When I'm scrapping, it means I'm working on my scrapbook.  When he's scrapping, he's deconstructing metal things to take to the scrap yard for money.
Looks like Ruby's ready for something to eat: she has gotten up into her chair and is saying "nya-nya" which is her hungry word.  Not a very long blog post, but that's okay.  It's been a lovely day that the Lord has made.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Body Mist: Ruby's new thing

Ruby's pretty cute, if I do say so myself.  Today her cuteness consisted of being very interested in a bottle of body mist spray from Bath and Body Works.  I remember back in junior high that stuff being all the rage.  It was like perfume but more watered down and much cheaper.  Everyone (of course, I'm speaking now about the girls) had a bottle in their locker.  No one wanted to take an actual shower after gym (then you'd have to get naked and that would be awkward!), so spritzing liberally with body mist was the solution of choice.  Besides, they came in a mind-boggling array of scents at Bath and Body Works.  The truly adventurous girls got theirs at Victoria's Secret, which offered its own line of the same thing.  (Same thing goes for underwear, but the politics of underwear in junior high and high school is its own post!)
Well, at any rate, I haven't owned any body mist in a looooong time, until about a year ago.  One of my students gave me a gift card to Bath and Body Works at Christmas time and Allen and I went to go make use of it.  We bought some nice smelling hand soap and I felt drawn nostalgically to the body mists.  There are still an overwhelming array of them (although I didn't see my old favorite, Freesia).  So I got some Jasmine scented mist.  I rarely wear it, mostly because I don't think to put it on. But Ruby recently discovered it and she likes it.  She likes scented things.  She grabs our scented candles and walks around the house sniffing them.  Here are some pictures of her enjoying the body mist smell.

Looks like she's ready for the junior high locker room!  (Not that I would banish her to such a horrible place)

Friday, March 2, 2012


I don't know what to write about today.  I guess I'll just say some of what I did.  Ruby let me sleep in--so nice of her!--and after we got up and had breakfast and got dressed, it was time to do the usual type of chores: wash breakfast dishes, start the laundry, and work on packing.  I packed up some of the contents of the built-in bookshelves in the living room. They are mostly full of "teacher books" that I was given by a generous teacher friend who was retiring from the field and ready to unload some of her library.  I sorted through them according to subject and decided which to hold on to and which to donate to the other teachers at my school.  Andy came over to take a look at them to see if any would be suitable for his tutoring needs, and we chatted for a while; Ruby was cute and played peekaboo in her little cardboard house.  I made lunch for Ruby and myself and then put her down for a nap shortly afterwards, then went back to packing (although I did take time out to read some interesting blogs and articles online for a while.)  I listened to a Mars Hill sermon on marriage (their current series) and did not get to my sewing project as I had hoped.  Tomorrow, perhaps.  It's a small project (especially compared to my last sewing project): I'm making a modesty nursing cover that will hopefully stay put better than slinging on a blanket over myself.  I've had lots of thoughts today, but none of them are really bloggable right now.  I guess I will say a little something about chores.
 I've been reading "Farmer Boy" and some of the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I read them when I was little but appreciate them more now, especially thinking about what it must have been like to be a mother and wife back then.  Tiring, that's what!  From sun up to sun down was work, work, work.  I gripe about not having a dishwasher, but what if I had to cook on a stove that was heated by wood or buffalo chips?  Oh, and no refrigeration; you had to find other ways to preserve your food.  There was always something to do, because if you didn't do it yourself, it wasn't going to get done.  Not only did the women make the clothes, they made the cloth for the clothes!  Another thing that stands out is how much responsibility was given to the children.  They had so much work to do to help keep things going smoothly.  Having a large family was essential for getting work done on the farm.  Most interesting to me about reading "Farmer Boy" in particular is the description of the daily meals.  Almanzo Wilder was not a pioneer boy, but a farm boy in New York state in the 1840s (I think).  His family was not well-to-do per se but they were not living the hardscrabble life that Laura Ingalls and her family had to live as they kept moving westwards. Almanzo's mother and sisters spent a huge portion of their day cooking and then cleaning up after meals.  The meals always sound huge and often include fruit pies.  At first it sounds unhealthy, but when I recall that they would not have had access to lots of fresh fruit and vegetables during the cold fall, winter, and spring months, eating an apple pie was a good way to get fruit into the diet.  Besides which, when you are living in a house that is heated only by wood stoves and it is 40 below zero outside, you want all the fat extra insulation you can get!  Their breakfasts were huge, too, but they also had to have energy to do a lot of hard physical labor outside.  I think that most people then needed to consume more calories than most of us do now, yet we probably consume more now than they did then, even with all those rich homemade meals containing lots of lard and dairy.  Anyway, it's all very interesting to compare life then to life now, and it helps remind me that my chore load is FAR from strenuous compared to what it could be had I been born in a different era!  Speaking of that, need to go fold laundry while Ruby is keeping busy by feeding herself yogurt.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Slice of Life

Some of Chandra's author friends have instituted a writing challenge called Slice of Life Story Challenge.  It entails blogging every day from March 1 to March 31, and it sounds like a very worthy goal.  There's no length requirement, thank goodness, because I'm sure some of my posts will be on the brief side while we're trying to pack up and move into the new house.  I encourage all of my blog followers who have blogs of their own to give it a shot.
So, what do have to say for myself today, March 1?  Well, I'm officially 35 weeks pregnant, which means only 5 weeks to go, if that. As I recall from being pregnant with Ruby, after the 35 week mark if you go into labor, they won't try to stop the baby from coming.  It also means that our local hospital, Willamette Falls, will accept me because babies born at 35 weeks or after don't typically need a NICU (which Willamette Falls doesn't have).  Any time Max decides to show up from now on is go time.  Not that I really want him to come five weeks early.  We have  a lot to do before then!  If he absolutely HAS to come early, I hope he'll wait another two weeks, because two weeks from today is our first official day in our new house.  Yup.  Two weeks.  Looking around and thinking about everything that has to get loaded into a box or crate in those precious 14 days is an overwhelming thought.  Allen has already made a great start here in the living room; most of the books and the contents of the hoosier are now packed up in boxes and ready to go.  Ruby quite enjoys this whole "boxes everywhere" thing.  They give her great climbing practice.  She is 21 months old now (as of Feb. 24) and showing some very big-kid traits.  Yesterday she found a paper towel that I had been using to dry my hands after washing dishes, and she very purposefully took it to the trash and threw it away.  A little while later, I gave her a big girl cup (i.e. a child size cup without a sippy lid) with a bit of water in it.  She spilled most of its contents onto the carpet.  She looked at the spill, looked at me, and then toddled off to the kitchen, where she retrieved the paper towel from the trash and then brought it to the carpet to mop up the spill. Oddly, she started mopping up an area of carpet that was about a foot away from where the spill happened, but she had the right idea, right?  (Although I should teach her not to take things out of the trash as a general rule...). Then she asked for more water, dumped that, and tried to repeat the whole process.  Looks like that girl is ready for some Montessori practical life skills in cleaning!  This morning she also dumped all of her crumbs onto the floor very deliberately.  I tried to show her how to sweep it up, but she didn't quite get that notion...she just wanted to eat the crumbs from the broom. YUCK!
And why am I blogging at 9:11 AM on a work day, you ask?  Well, for the second day in a row, we have had a 2 hour delay due to snow.  Invisible snow, from where I'm sitting, but snow somewhere down in the Molalla area that has things snarled up. Since today is the day I only work until 12, it seems a bit silly to arrive at school at 10 and only be there for two hours, but who am I to quibble with a late start?!  The only downside was that Ruby was insistent on getting up early anyway and was not interested in letting her mommy get some extra shut eye this morning.  Oh well.  I'm starting to have more restlessness at night and not sleeping very comfortably thanks to Max moving around and just being large.  I didn't go to bed late, but I still felt like I spent the whole night tossing and turning instead of really getting quality sleep.  But I'm sure that in a few weeks, all sleep will be quality sleep when there is a newborn interrupting it every two hours.  Oh boy.  OHHHHHH boy.  Not ready for that...
Thus ends my first "slice of life" post.  It's kind of exciting to think that among the slices of life this month could be the birth of our second child, and definitely will include a move to a new place (don't worry, there will be pictures of both events when they happen!)